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Destructoid: Fable 3 Review

Fable III isn't a bad game, it's just very disappointing. Lacking the sense of adventure of the previous games and making the most simple of elements more awkward and overdrawn, Fable III feels like a step back for the franchise. It's a shame because its narrative goals are truly outstanding and there's still a lot of simplistic roleplaying fun to be had. These positives are outweighed, however, by a downsized sense of scale, cumbersome attempts at innovation, and a total neglect when it comes to fixing some important problems.

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Pandemic2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Oh my.....

kancerkid2885d ago

He's petty hard on the no menu's thing, and probably rightly so.

SnuggleBandit2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

oh jimmmy boy...the king of controversy

*grabs mutha effin popcorn*

blitz06232885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

lol Jim Sterling. What a joke. Isn't he the same guy who gave Deadly Premonition a 10?

badz1492885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

he's on "the roll" = TROLL!! and he's at the highest level! he trolls on everything!

FURY__UNLEASHED2885d ago

I don't know how these clowns on on Metacritic, but here's the review if you really want to read it. I'm not even a Fable fan at all, but Destuctoid is a joke! Please don't give this troll site hits!

Part 1 of the review (character limit):

"If there's one word that categorically defines the Fable series, it has to be "promise." Fable has always been a franchise with promise, made by people who do nothing but promise. Each game is always pretty fun, but consistently falls short of its own goals, and always carries with it the glimmer of that unfulfilled promise.

Perhaps one day, the Fable series will finally strike the chord it's been grasping at for all these years. Today, however, is not that day.

Fable has always been about telling an epic tale of humble beginnings and grand conclusions, and while the beginning is less than humble this time around, the conclusion aims to be grander than ever. Fable III casts players in the role of a prince of the realm who finds himself starting a revolution to depose his tyrannical brother and, ultimately, become king.

It should have been the ultimate realization of everything the franchise has built towards, as players finally get a taste of true power. So what went wrong? Why is it that Fable III, in its attempt to be bigger and more powerful than ever, is actually the least significant and weakest entry in the series yet?

First of all, Fable III does absolutely nothing to expand on its own formula. Even though you're royalty, you'll still spend most of your time farting at people to win their approval and performing mind-numbing QTE minigames in order to earn cash. In fact, once players do finally become king, the game devolves even further, becoming a glorified choose-your-own-adventure book as you sit listening to a "Good" and "Evil" proposal and decide what to do, with only the occasional short quest to break things up. That's as much as I can say without providing spoilers, but suffice it to say, it's not good to be the king."

FURY__UNLEASHED2885d ago

Perhaps Lionhead was trying to make a statement with that, but if it was, it's a clever statement that was nonetheless made at the expense of player enjoyment.

Even worse, the game hasn't bothered to fix any of the previous game's problems. The glowing trail one uses to find important locations is still broken, freaking out whenever a player switches direction or just randomly disappearing altogether. Your faithful dog still has zero intelligence whatsoever, and will often jerk around in spastic circles instead of leading you to the treasure it insists is there. In fact, AI all around is completely worthless, with enemies that provide no challenge and NPCs that will constantly get in your way. These were very apparent problems in Fable II and the fact that nobody thought to fix them is really unacceptable.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Fable III suffers from some unbelievably poor design choices that take the previous game's ideas and makes them more awkward and tedious. For a start, there are no real menus in the game. Instead of going to a menu screen to equip items, select quests, and check character progress, pressing Start now takes you to a "Sanctuary" full of rooms that you must manually enter in order to do anything. If you want to equip a hat, for example, you have to load the Sanctuary, enter the clothing room, walk to the mannequins, find the right mannequin, select the mannequin, select the hat, and then finally wear the hat. Apparently it was too convenient to just hit Start, select the clothing option, and put on the damn hat.

You have to do this for quests as well, visiting the Sanctuary and then activating the map before finally getting access to the various quests. You know, there is a reason why we've had menus in games for over twenty years. They work. It boggles the mind why Lionhead eschewed them, as a studio that routinely streamlines its games to make them more fluid and easy to use. This arcane system totally goes against that philosophy.

Similarly cumbersome changes have been made to the socializing system. In previous games, you could emote in various ways and the surrounding NPCs would react to you. In Fable III, you can only emote to villagers one at a time, performing the same tedious animations for them until they like you. You also need to perform a stupid fetch-and-carry quest for every single person you want to befriend. The old system wasn't very realistic, but it was quicker and far more respectful of one's time than this. There was no reason to change it, and the change has only been for the worse."

FURY__UNLEASHED2885d ago

"It seems Lionhead "fixed" things that didn't need fixing, and refused to touch anything that was legitimately broken. The rest of the game is just Fable II, but far less epic in scale. Fable II felt like a real adventure across all of Albion, while Fable III feels incredibly limited. You visit only a few places, and fight only a fraction of the types of enemies that Fable is known for. Even the final battle is a short and dull hack-n'-slash section followed by an unimpressive boss fight. So unimpressive, in fact, that it feels no different at all from any of the other fights in the game.

Even the leveling and item system has been scaled down. Your leveling system is now governed by Guild Seals that are earned by fighting enemies, finishing quests and interacting with people. They essentially equate to a form of currency that is used to open up treasure chests on the "Road to Rule." This road contains chests for clothing colors, social interactions, combat stats and minigame enhancement. In short, everything has been bundled into one place, leaving nothing to discover in Albion itself.

This lack of focus on being in Albion permeates the entire game. Much less emphasis has been put on buying property, starting families, or even exploring. The number of stores and blacksmiths has been reduced, and there's far less to do overall. The Albion of Fable III is less compelling, less rewarding and less interesting in every way possible."

FURY__UNLEASHED2885d ago

"That is not to say that the game doesn't have its moments. The emphasis on choice and asking whether the end justifies the means is impressively done, and while the game offers very clear "Good" and "Bad" moral choices, the reasons behind those choices run far deeper than before. There is an intelligent narrative buried in Fable III that borders on political commentary, but never gets preachy or overbearing.

The game's vocal cast steals the show, with the likes of Stephen Fry, Simon Pegg, John Cleese and Bernard Hill, among many others, putting in a surprising amount of effort and making one feel proud to be British. Sadly, the game's sense of humor doesn't do the great performances justice, still focusing as it does on fart jokes and appropriated Monty Python quotes. Much of the dialog is far below the talent of the people performing it, making it even more impressive that each actor does his very best.

As for the rest of the game, it copies the Fable II mold without apology. The single-button combat system is still in place, with one button each ascribed to melee, ranged and magic attacks. It's still a lot of fun to customize your character and make them look as impressive or silly as you like, and the general atmosphere of Fable has remained intact. The very bones of Fable are in place, unchanged, and still as average as ever.

Co-op makes a return, and while it is currently offline at the time of writing, it appears to work in very much the same way. Players can now own properties together, get married, have kids, and help each other in combat, but again, the total lack of anything fun to do in Albion makes it a far less compelling option. I stress that I have not had access to this option yet and if it makes a significant difference to the game, you shall know. But given that there really isn't very much to do for one player, let alone two, the chances of it impacting the adventure aren't favorable.

Fable III isn't a bad game; it's just very disappointing. Lacking the sense of adventure of the previous games and making the most simple of elements more awkward and overdrawn, it feels like a step back for the franchise. It's a shame, because its narrative goals are truly outstanding and there's still a lot of simplistic role-playing fun to be had. These positives are outweighed, however, by a downsized sense of scale, cumbersome attempts at innovation, and a total neglect when it comes to fixing some important problems.

Not only has Fable once again failed to live up to its promise, it's gotten further away from it than before, and that's an incredibly frustrating shame.

Score: 5.5 -- Mediocre"

thief2885d ago

I have nevefr played Fable, but most of the flaws Destructoid points out seem to be pretty serious ones - poor AI, gameplay seems dumbed down and lacking in depth, poor item equipping/menu system...any other game with these flaws would struggle to score more than 6 or 7.

Motion2884d ago

Well, I played the first two Fable games, and have listened to Molyneaux's (sp?) banter pre and post game launches. I think this review is pretty spot on in terms of criticisms of the first games, and Molyneaux himself says that he usually doesn't pull of his ideas to completion. Probably wait for this game in the bargain bin personally.

HolyOrangeCows2884d ago

"You have to do this for quests as well, visiting the Sanctuary and then activating the map before finally getting access to the various quests"

Wow, that's bull.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 2884d ago
darkziosj2885d ago

oh crap Same guy that gave Assassin's Creed II a 4.5.
vanquish and lord of shadows a 5

meganick2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

At the risk of racking up a ton of disagrees, I agree with Jim's assessment of Castlevania: LoS. But not Assassin's Creed 2. I loved that game.

All_4_One2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Oh, c`mon, a 5.5? How can that even be?

Chuk52885d ago

Jim Sterling that's how. He has really polarizing opinions. But somehow he gave that oudated buggy mess New vegas a 9.

Neko_Mega2885d ago

Buggy it my be, it is one of those games that is hard to stop playing (Well not after what I did but yeah).

Orionsangel2885d ago

New Vegas is most of what he said in his Fable III review. "downsized sense of scale, cumbersome attempts at innovation, and a total neglect when it comes to fixing some important problems."

Sarcasm2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Well said. Fallout New Vegas is fun and there's some real good writing behind it. But man oh man it's buggy and graphically dated. Come to think of it, the gameplay is the same as Fallout 3 but with a new story. Deserves a 7/10 at most. Should have been DLC for $15.

JonnyBigBoss2885d ago

Damn that's rough. I'll be getting this for PC in a couple months either way.

BornToKill2885d ago

there's always some website that's gonna give a good game a low score.

happens every time.

Troll_Police2885d ago

Didn't happen with Uncharted 2, MGS4, Little Big Planet, and God of War 3.

kaveti66162885d ago

actually, it did.

and you didn't participate in any of those games' productions.

meganick2885d ago

@kaveti6616
He never said that he did participate in the productions of those games so I'm not sure why you brought that up. Explain yourself sir.

kaveti66162885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

Am I the only one that senses the air of arrogance and vicariousness that you Sony fanboys exhibit about video games that you have no part in making?

I doubt you are this stupid, but in the high chance that you are, I'll say it like this, and I won't be saying it for any positive reception because I'm certain that you will disagree again and reply with another asinine retort.

Troll_Police's comment about how those particular games didn't receive negative reviews is completely false. The evidence he provided was metacritic and that's not a viable source for evidence because it discounts reviewing sites and adds reviewing sites at a whim whenever it sees a purpose to do so.

Troll_Police's comment is also a classic example of trolling as his statement was implying that good games (and his examples are all Sony exclusives) don't get negative reviews, while Fable 3 did receive a negative review from Destructoid.

This statement by Troll_Police of course underlies his fanboy mentality - his need to disparage a 360 game while uplifting PS3 and its exclusives again, and again ad infinitum.

And all of this underlies his weakness as an individual. By trying to hide the chink in his armor, Troll_Police has ironically exposed his insecurities as a consumer. If there is a game on the 360, Troll_Police will try to find a dysphemysm to downplay its positive features. If Microsoft has good news to report, Troll_Police will attempt to sideline it with a negative fact.

And all of his posts reek of his insecurity as a consumer and his pathetic weakness as a person. He seeks to live vicariously through the accomplishments of others, as do all the other fanboys on this site. In their minds, if Sony succeeds, then they have succeeded. If Naughty Dog's game wins another award, then they have won another award. If God of War 3 sells 3 million copies and ends up the greatest looking console game of the year, then they seek to take some credit for it.

Sony fanboys, and 360 fanboys, and PC fanboys and all other types of fanboys believe that whatever they cherish irrationally will somehow reward them for their loyalty.

And that is why I responded to Troll_Police the way I did. Destructoid has been known to give poor scores to otherwise great titles and high scores to otherwise mediocre titles in order to gain hits. And they have succeeded in gaining hits because today, their review perfectly suits the appetite of Troll_Police. Next week or next month or somewhere down the line, when Sony releases a game that Troll_Police has been creaming his pants about for weeks, and Destructoid gives it a poor, scathing review, Troll_Police will denounce the site as a hit-seeking blog.

You didn't contribute to the greatness of any of the games you post in your worthless lists. So, why don't you all explain yourselves?

van-essa2885d ago (Edited 2885d ago )

And yet, you guys say reviewers are biased againt the PS3.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2885d ago
poindat2885d ago

And somehow that website always ends up being Destructoid. Excellent. -.-

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